The wolf has already visited Rik Camps sheep from Meeuwen 3 times. There were 8 victims. Rick did his best to surround Meadows with the wolf’s resistance, but the wolf still managed to get past him. According to Rick, it is not the responsibility of the farmer to keep the wolf away from the livestock. “Every time a wolf attacks a farm animal, the farmer gets blamed, and I’m sick of it,” Rick says.
sI have had sheep since His Holiness. “I bought my first sheep with the money I received at that time,” he says. “Those animals have been my passion all my life, and I try to pass that passion on to my grandchildren. They also love seeing those animals, and they gave some sheep a bottle-feed to raise. With the arrival of the wolf, my passion was filled with tension and sadness, and that goes for every breeder here in wolf country. I have Many fellows have already stopped cultivating because they can no longer bear the stress.”
Why are wolves in Flanders?
There is a lot of frustration among affected farmers that live farming speaks in terms of a wolf. You can hear the tension in their voices when they talk about it. According to them, the wolf does not belong to agricultural areas, especially when it is populated. Elsewhere in Europe, there is enough room to house the wolf in nature reserves without causing the animals unnecessary suffering, so why in Limburg many wonder.
“If a wolf kills an animal in the wild, it will eat it too, and then other wild animals will eat the surplus,” Rick says. When a wolf kills livestock, there are often many victims within a single pasture. This is called Overkill. At that point, the wolf simply kills to kill, not to live. Recently, my cousin came face to face with a coyote in his fenced pasture. Unfortunately, he has already killed some sheep. The wolf first tried to dig under the hedge, but it was too deep in the ground. Then he jumped over 1m20.
One of his fellow sheep farmers lost 5 of his 16 sheep after a wolf attack. He was so shocked by this that he sold all his other sheep the next day. Shortly after that he sold his land as well. He couldn’t continue his obsession with the idea that something like this could happen again. The compensation we receive after this event is not really important to us. We love to see and be seen by those animals.”
If you abuse animals Overkill You can’t imagine the point of this animal’s suffering,” Rick continues in frustration. “Does the wolf’s presence in Limburg really outweigh all the human and animal suffering it causes? And this is not only about the suffering of farm animals, but also about us, the ranchers, and the suffering of other wild animals dying in the nets we have to put in.
A while ago, I put a wolf net around my pasture, and the next day it was already on the ground because a deer was trapped in it. I took this animal out and released it again, but the next day another animal got stuck again, unfortunately already dead. In our eyes, this is another animal that the wolf killed for no reason.
I also fear that one day a kid will run into the wolfproof fence. We have to put 5 power cords outside the meadow, and they have at least 4500 volts. Often this is much more than that.
Much less than a wolf graze
Since the coyote has already been shown many times that it also loves beef, many farmers have decided to keep their cows inside, especially at night. This is at the expense of grazing, and this is something that is greatly encouraged by dairy farmers. Cows lose the opportunity to go outside, but the farmer also loses the extra income he would normally get from pasture milk.
A dairy farmer from Oudsbergen was the first farmer in Flanders to lose a cow to a wolf. “That cow was healthy, but she fell victim. What wouldn’t happen, according to the wolf experts, anyway. The cow spent the night outside with other pregnant calves and paid for it with her life. The other calves in the pasture were full of exhaustion and kept sweating. They are still carrying The fear my animals lived in. I notice this through their timid behaviour.
Since that incident, I’ve been able to build a fence out of a field with the help of Wolfe’s fencing team. I have 5 power wires from outside and the electricity is generated by a solar panel. Pregnant calves are now in that meadow. I haven’t dared let the other cows out when it’s dark for two years now, just as many of my peers don’t dare anymore.
We’ve already seen the wolf
I’ve encountered a coyote 3 times so far. I heard our neighbor’s donkey was dying from a wolf attack. At first I heard wolves 3 times, then I heard all the birds flying from the trees and then I heard a cry. I knew something was up, but I had no idea where it was. The goats have been removed from the other neighbour’s shed.”
Impact on Limburg’s landscape
“Beautiful cycling landscapes are made less beautiful because of the coyote. If you walk around this neighborhood now, you will see fewer animals than before. Hobby keepers stop by or put their animals inside. In the beginning you could see meadows with sheep, goats, ponies and donkeys in Everywhere from here. Now you hardly see anything. Every day we receive reports of sightings of wolf packs. Our area is famous for beautiful camping pitches for youth camps. Who would dare sleep in a tent, knowing there was a chance of passing the pack? Who would dare play in the woods Who would dare to walk in the beautiful landscape?”
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